Dr. Lyndhurst C. Dodge,
February 20, 1841 - August 12, 1904
Dr. Dodge bequeathed $5000 to found a library in West Chazy in memory of his Father and Mother, Dr. Daniel G. and Judith (Gates) Dodge. Dr. Dodge specified in his will that $3000 would be used for the building and $2000 would be used for books. L.A. Stafford, Benjamin F. Douglass, G.W. Goodale, W.F. Stratton, and W.H. Robinson were elected the first trustees, and the motion was made to name the library the Doctor Dodge Library. The building had 3 rooms on the first floor, and to help defray cost an apartment on the second floor.
During the summer, B.F. Douglass and W.H. Robinson went to New York city to buy books and furniture to equip the new library. They spent $1,000; the remaining $1,000 was kept as a fund, the income which was used to purchase magazines. A larger income was realized for a short time by an investment made by the school trustees, but this was all lost in the 1929 crash.
The cataloging and arrangement of the library were supervised by a young lady sent from the State Department of Education at Albany. The first librarian was Miss Evelyn M.H. Clark, who served for the next 12 years, until 1919, for $50 a year.
In 1929, at the annual meeting of the school, it was voted that the trustees of School District Five should also act as trustees for the library. The Department of Education objected, however, and since 1936 the library has had a separated board of trustees.
In 1957 when the Beekmantown Central School District was consolidated and Chazy District Five was included in its territory, the Dodge Library no longer had a legal district for a library tax since it had been a school district library. The library limped along for two more years with help from the Beekmantown School District and with the services of such interested citizens. In 1959, however, the state auditors forbade the Beekmantown School from contributing further financial support, the burden on the library became considerable, and it seemed as if the library would have to be closed permanently after its funds were depleted. The Charter was revoked by the State because the library failed to meet minimum state requirements. Fortunately, there was a group of residents of the village who valued the services of the library and who volunteered to reopen it after it had been closed for about a year; although there was no income. The library was run by volunteer help from July 1962 to August 1963. Public meetings of the old school district were held, tax support was voted by the Beekmantown School District, and a new registration was obtained on August 9th, 1963. The efforts of this group generally revitalized the library, which is now a flourishing institution.